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Coronavirus Advice Update (September 2020)

Tax Cuts and Deferrals

15% VAT cut for hospitality and tourism sector extended to end March 2021.

Self-Employed

HMRC “Time to Pay” self-service facility – 12 month extension can now be deferred further under a formal Time to Pay arrangement. The tax due must be paid by 12 monthly instalments from February 2021– January 2022. If the tax deferred is £30,000 or less, there will be an online facility to request the Time To Pay arrangements. Where tax deferred is > £30,000 a phone call will need to be made to HMRC to agree the arrangement.

Loan schemes

All government coronavirus loan schemes are extended until the end of November 2020 (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Future Fund.)

Investment in Public services

£68.7 billion of additional funding has been approved by the Treasury, including £24.3 billion since the Summer Economic Update in July. HS2 going ahead.

Job Support Scheme & Returning to Work

Job support Scheme

  • It is a Government grant for businesses – running 1 November 2020 – 30 April 2021.
  • Designed to protect “viable ”jobs and keep employees “attached” to the workforce.
  • Employer pays for time worked and cost of hours not worked will be split between the government and the employer.

Details can be found on our downloadable presentation here.

Returning to work.

The message from Boris Johnson (September 2020):

Office workers who can work from home effectively, should do so and anyone who cannot work from home, should go to their place of work.

So how do you decide this with your employees?

Employers should, in consultation with each employee, determine whether the employee can carry out their normal duties from home effectively, and if they can, then they should work from home. However, where it is determined that an employee cannot work from home, then subject to any conditions such as serious health issues, the employer can ask the employee to return to work.

Must employers stop their return to the office plans?

  • No, but consider why it is necessary that the employee must work at the office and not at home. Discuss the employees performance over the last 6 months and whether it is viable to continue working from home or whether returning to the office will be more beneficial.
  • Consider whether there are other ways to improve working from home effectively – daily or weekly video check in calls with your team.
  • Employees who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable category can go to work if it is Covid secure, but should carry on working from home wherever possible.
  • The Health and Safety Executive provides great guidance and advice on how to get your workplace ready to welcome employees back safely and securely.

Consult with your employees regarding effectively & safely working from home.

Things you should discuss and consider can be found on our downloadable presentation here.

10 Practical Steps to Mitigate the Madness

If you are feeling a little confused in this world of uncertainty and over information. Here are the top ten things to focus on:

  1. Increase liquidity. However, you can, and you need to increase the cash you are holding. Top 3 options are:
    1. Bounce Back Loans. Excellent relief: easy to access, 100% government-backed, up to £50k, money in days, and decent terms. Go to your bank online and find their application page.
    2. R&D tax relief. The UK scheme is one of the most generous (up to 33% cashback) and easy to access schemes in the world for all sectors. You can go back two years, and accelerate your claim by shortening your year ends. You can even borrow ahead from companies such as www.fundsquire.com
    3. CBILS… It’s more complicated and slower to apply, but if you are asking for less than £250k, and/or you understand how a bank thinks, it's worth a look.
  2. Don’t spend it! Delay everything you can.

    The Government is allowing delays on PAYE, VAT, pretty much everything if you ask them. Take it and save your cash. This pandemic is likely lasting two years; you need a panic fund at all points. Remember to document why you are holding the cash so as not to become an investment company (ask your accountant).

  3. If you need to raise money as a start-up:
    Use an ASA (Advanced Subscription Agreement). It is money now, shares later, no valuation needed, EIS/SEIS compatible, and an excellent approach. Download our free ASA template herewww.ouryclark.com/coronavirus
  1. Insurance. Who would think anyone would say that now? But no, do. Advise staff to get term/life insurance. The market is open, policies without medicals currently. Not expensive if you are young and healthy. Worth every penny if something should happen. Which, well, it really might.
  2. Everyone needs to get a power of attorney. Between you and your most trusted love one. You need to give someone the power to make decisions if you can’t. You need to register it with the Government – (just Google power of attorney). Also, give someone your Apple/Facebook passwords.
  3. Get a Will. Put it in several places, and tell people where you put it.
  4. It is tough for people when working at home to separate work and play. To not know when it’s okay, to log off. So for people’s mental health, a lot of research recommends: Have a check-in time in the morning and check-out time in the evening. You and other senior people may need to work all hours – but it’s not fair to expect everyone else too.
  5. If you have business premises, make sure you pick up the post. Grants are available, and the council might have written to you. Also, there is a new Government relief for co-working, market traders, charity properties, and B&Bs. The allocation of this funding is at the discretion of Councils, so get in touch.
  6. Furlough employees can be trained. TRAIN them… realise this is your opportunity to upskill your staff on Government payroll. Innovate hard.
  7. Don’t get lost on the detail, the news, or the law. Focus on your core business model in a hungover (post corona) world.

Webinars

Latest News

Dividend Directors

Unfortunately there are some groups without govt support. Most notably Dividend Directors, and the start up community.

Thankfully something has now been announced for the start up community.

Click here for more info

EIS and SEIS Relief

Also there is a movement to increase the attractiveness of EIS and SEIS relief for investors which you may like to support.

Sign the petition

Coronavirus Support Finder

The Government has developed Coronavirus related support packages tool that helps businesses try to determine what support they might be eligible for.

View here

Raising Money for Startups and Everyone Else

If you are seeking to raise money for your business, through private or venture investment - we believe the only current practical solution is to use an ASA – an Advanced Subscription Agreement.

It allows you to raise money now, for a future promise at equity – at a pre agreed, and often discounted price. You do not have to set a valuation (crucial in the current crisis), and crucially it is compatible with EIS/SEIS relief – almost essential if you want to raise private finance in the UK.

We have enclosed here a template guide to assist you in that manner. With all the obvious caveats. Please feel free to use it, please get advice. And obviously we cannot be held responsible for anything that might happen with this template – unless you get advice from us. We just provide this to help as best we can.

Download ASA template

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